MILITARY and counterintelligence operatives predict a major threat in Mindanao after the Philippines National Police (PNP) Soccsksargen head acknowledged the potential threat of suicide bombing in the region.
Soccsksargen Regional Director Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco called a regional command conference here on Wednesday to address the threat of suicide bombing.
Rasco said the meeting focused on the “pressing threat of suicide bombing” in the wake of the attack on the military camp in Indanan, Sulu on June 28.
The Sulu bombings killed eight people, including three soldiers and two alleged suicide bombers — one of which was identified as Norman Lasuca, the first officially confirmed Filipino suicide bomber.
The meeting was participated in by members of the regional police’s command group, directorial staff, provincial and city police directors, municipal police station chiefs, and heads of the PNP support units.
Rasco had told police units in the region to continue upgrading intelligence monitoring and security measures in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He said policemen must also be equipped with skills and tools to better enforce countermeasures against suicide bombing.
Rasco directed all city, provincial and municipal police chiefs to implement contingency and camp defense plans against potential suicide bombing attacks.
“Our goal is to prepare our units to counteract and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the region. We have to intensify our intelligence gathering and related preventive measures to ensure that no terrorist activity will ever succeed,” Rasco said.
A jihadist group confirmed in a discreet report that four members of the Indonesia-based terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) would carry out their mission of bombing vital installations in Mindanao with the support of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
It was reported that these four Indonesians have long been in Mindanao and are operating with top Malaysian JI operatives. Their identities, however, are still to be validated by intelligence authorities in Zamboanga.
The anti-terrorism think tank Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR) said that this terror group with their suicide bombers abide by the teachings being espoused by the Islamic State (IS).
It believes that the al-Qaeda members’ “Oplan Bujinka” has prepared plans to hijack commercial planes and use these for suicide flights to attack several vital government utilities in Luzon and Mindanao.
PIPVTR said the terror group pledged to continue its allegiance to IS and was now on track to propagate its adopted beliefs and doctrines.
This Indonesian terror group has linked with another group called Ansar al-Khilafah in the Philippines, which means supporters of the caliphate, PIVTAR added.